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The Weird Week in Review

Gumby Fails at Robbery

Police in San Diego are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to a suspect who tried to rob a convenience store in a Gumby costume. He walked in on Monday and demanded money, but the clerk did not take him seriously and told the character not to waste his time. The man left, and the clerk did not immediately report the robbery attempt. The store manager reported the incident after seeing the security video. The clerk, who was not familiar with Gumby, described the perpetrator as "a green SpongeBob SquarePants."

Bear Drives Off, Wrecks Prius

Brian and Cece McCarthy of Pleasanton, California, were vacationing with their son Dylan at Lake Tahoe when their car was stolen. They woke to suspicious sounds in the night, and saw from the window of their cabin that there was a bear in the car!

After the black bear climbed completely inside the car it apparently couldn’t get out. In its struggle, the bear hit the gear shift and the car rolled away for a wild, albeit short, ride down the McCarthy’s driveway, over several boulders, only stopping when it slammed into a neighbor’s front porch.

“All of the sudden we look out the window again and the car is gone, the bear is down the driveway – we have this steep driveway coming out of our cabin – he’s down the driveway across the street,” said Cece McCarthy.

The car was ripped open on impact, and the bear escaped. The Prius was a total loss, and a sheriff's deputy wrote the incident down as "a bear burglary."

20-foot Crocodile Captured in The Philippines

Around 100 villagers in the Philippines worked together Sunday to bind and retrieve a monstrous 6 meter long crocodile that has been terrorizing the community for months. The croc weighed 2,370 pounds (1,075 kilograms) and estimated to be at least 50 years old. Villagers have been hunting the crocodile since a fisherman went missing in July. People also saw a croc eating a water buffalo last month. However, Wildlife official Ronnie Sumiller says there still may be an even larger crocodile in the area, based on eyewitness reports. The captured reptile is an endangered species, and will be relocated to an ecotourism park.

Jail Time for Overdue Library Materials

Christopher Anspach of Newton, Iowa, was sentenced to serve ten days in jail after he pleaded guilty to not returning books and other media to the Newton Public Library. He checked out the items earlier this year and failed to respond when library staff tried to contact him several times. They then turned to matter over to police. Anspach pleaded guilty to misdemeanor theft charges over 27 library items valued at $770.67. In addition to the jail sentence and a fine, he is to pay restitution for the books and other materials. There is no word on what happened to the library materials.

Man Calls Police Over Bad Haircut

A man in Drammen, Norway called local police to report that he had been the victim of a bad haircut. The call came from the hair salon, because the man said he could not go outside without a cap -and didn't have a cap. The salon owner said it was too late to do anything about the haircut. The police told the man they would not respond to the call. Unfortunately, no photograph accompanies this story.

Good Samaritans Change Tire, Steal Car

Charlotte Baker had a flat tire and pulled off to the side of the road between Byfield and Boddington in England. While the 28-year-old Baker, who is nine months pregnant, called her boyfriend for help, two men in a white van stopped and began to change the tire on her Porsche 911. Once they were finished with the tire, one man jumped in the driver's seat and took off, while the other fled in the van!

Miss Baker said: “The shock is starting to fade but now I am just reeling. It’s absolutely disgusting, these men have no morals.

“They couldn’t have cared less about leaving me stranded on a quiet road, even when it was obvious I’m just weeks away from giving birth.

Baker was eventually picked up by an elderly man who gave her a lift.

Angry Birds Theme Park Opens In China

An unauthorized theme park based on the mobile game Angry Birds has opened at Window of the World Park in Changsha, China. The attraction is part of a stress-reduction festival that opened on September first. Participants can use a real giant slingshot to knock pigs off a structure, as seen in a video clip. Rovio, the company that produces the game, has filed an intellectual property suit against the Chinese park. Rovio may license the rights to an Angry Birds themed park in the future, but no deal was made with the people who opened the Chinese attraction.

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Animals
Bizarre New Species of Crabs and a Giant Sea Cockroach Discovered in Waters Off Indonesia
One known species of isopod, or "giant sea cockroach"
One known species of isopod, or "giant sea cockroach"
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A crab with green googly eyes, another with "ears" resembling peanuts, and a species of giant sea cockroach are among the dozen new kinds of crustaceans discovered by scientists in the waters off Indonesia, Channel News Asia reports.

These finds are the result of a two-week expedition by Indonesian and Singaporean scientists with the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition (SJADES 2018), which involved exploring deep waters in the Sunda Strait (the waterway separating the islands of Sumatra and Java in Southeast Asia) and the Indian Ocean. Using trawls, dredges, and other tools, researchers brought a huge variety of deep-sea life to the surface—some species for the very first time.

"The world down there is an alien world," Peter Ng, chief scientist of the expedition, told Channel News Asia. "You have waters that go down more than 2000 to 3000 meters [9800 feet], and we do not know … the animal life that's at the bottom."

The giant sea cockroach—technically a giant isopod, also nicknamed a Darth Vader isopod—is a new species in the genus Bathynomus, measuring almost a foot long and found more than 4000 feet deep. The isopods are occasionally seen on the ocean floor, where they scuttle around scavenging for dead fish and other animals. This marked the first time the genus has ever been recorded in Indonesia.

Another find is a spider crab nicknamed Big Ears, though it doesn't actually have ears—its peanut-shaped plates are used to protect the crab's eyes.

More than 800 species were collected during the expedition, accounting for 12,000 individual animals. Researchers say it will take up to two years to study all of them. In addition to the 12 species that are completely new to science, 40 were seen for the first time in Indonesia. Creatures that the scientists dubbed a chain-saw lobster, an ice cream cone worm, and a cock-eyed squid were among some of the rarer finds.

A "Chain-Saw Lobster"
Nicknamed the "Chain-Saw Lobster," this creature is a rare blind lobster, found only in the deep seas.

Researchers took to the giant sea cockroach quickly, with some of the crew members reportedly calling it “cute” and cradling it like a baby. Check out Channel News Asia Insider's video below for more insight into their creepy finds.

[h/t Channel News Asia]

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Weird
The Mysterious Case of the Severed Feet in British Columbia
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While walking on the beach, many people look out for a number of things: Shells, buried treasure, crabs, and dolphins among them. But if you’re on a beach in British Columbia, you might want to keep an eye out for something a little more sinister—about 15 severed feet have washed up on the shores there in the past few years. The latest was found on May 6, wedged in a mass of logs on Gabriola Island, according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The feet have been surprising unlucky British Columbians for over a decade. The first appeared back in 2007 on Jedediah Island; it was eventually matched to a deceased man whose family declined to provide additional information. Bizarre, but not particularly alarming—until another one showed up on Gabriola Island less than a month later. More feet followed, and though some were matched to missing persons, most remained anonymous (feet, unfortunately, don’t contain much identifying information). Instead, police focused on the fact that each foot was encased in a running shoe—though sizes, genders, and brands differed.

This seems like a real-life episode of The X-Files, but it turns out there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for the severed feet: They’re not really “severed,” which would indicate cutting or slicing, at all. According to scientists who tested the theory, the feet likely belong to suicide, drowning, or plane crash victims. It’s common for decomposing bodies to come apart at the joint, making it natural for the foot to come apart from the leg. But if that’s the case, wouldn’t hands be similarly susceptible to washing up on beaches? Nope, that’s where the shoes come in.

While the rest of the body naturally decomposes in water, feet are surprisingly well protected inside the rubber and fabric of a shoe. The soles can be pretty buoyant, and sometimes air pockets get trapped inside the shoe, making it float to the surface. Most of the “severed” feet have been clad in jogging shoes such as Nikes and Pumas, but at least one case involves a hiking boot. In that instance, the boot (and foot) was matched to a man who went missing while fishing more than 25 years ago. The most recent case also involves a hiking boot.

That leaves the question: Why British Columbia? According to Richard Thompson, an oceanographer with the federal Institute of Ocean Sciences, it’s connected to ocean current. “There’s a lot of recirculation in the region; we’re working here with a semi-enclosed basin. Fraser River, False Creek, Burrard Inlet—all those regions around there are somewhat semi-enclosed. The tidal currents and the winds can keep things that are floating recirculating in the system." Several feet have also been found further south, in Washington state, which shares a network of coastal waterways with British Columbia.

Others aren’t so quick to accept this scientific analysis, however. Criminal lawyer and crime author Michael Slade still wonders if a serial killer is afoot. "We also have to consider that this could be a serial killer," he said. "Somebody who right now is underneath the radar. That has to be on the table."

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